Africa is the new frontier for BVI Financial Services products and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent Wheatley took the charge of sharing the good news about the BVI offerings to Africa.
The Minister discussed his trade mission to the African continent on 8 October during ZBVI radio programme ‘Honestly Speaking With Claude Skelton-Cline’. In that interview Hon. Wheatley disclosed that the Territory has set sight on Africa and that he was going to be travelling there on behalf of Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie with the International Finance Centre (IFC).
Hon. Wheatley said: “One of the things that the Premier has dedicated himself to doing is trying to diversify the economy as much as possible, so we are not only diversifying our economy but diversifying our markets at the same time. So coming up in the next few days we will be travelling with the IFC (members) and we are going to be doing an exploratory mission to Africa,”
As he noted that there are prospects for the Territory in Africa Hon. Wheatley said: “The African market is a huge market, basically untapped by us.”
“We are big in international finance, but we mainly deal with the European and North American markets, and we are saying to ourselves why don’t we just look a little wider afield… what about Africa? Africa is doing a tremendous amount of business and we could be getting a piece of that pie,” the Minister added.
This is not the first time that an effort has been made to connect the BVI offerings to Africa. In fact, a trade mission was organized for November last year but was postponed to this year because of the emergence of the EU taxation matter that began looming over the BVI at the time.
That trade mission to Africa was expected to span two weeks and cover three countries and four of Africa’s major business hubs namely: Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Abuja and Lagos, in Nigeria.
At that time it was announced that the BVI Finance had set sight on Africa because it represents a major opportunity for the Territory’s financial services industry and the mission was set to be a means for the Territory to take its message to the governments and business centres in an effort to develop relationships that will benefit all involved.